A Migration of Tiny Cottonwoods


She’s the one you feel you really know only you don’t know if she knows. But it’s
certain that she would want to if she’d only let herself. Something’s in the way, and it’s
not anything very important, but it’s in the way, and you wish she’d just encourage you a
little more to love her the way you know you should if she could let you, and then she’d
want it as much as you do. You’re a nice guy, intelligent, not bad looking, a great lover
when inspired by a woman loving back, good sense of humor, capable of being nice to
her parakeet.
Maybe the problem is you appear to be too serious. It scares her because serious
men in her life have meant trouble. And because you can be seen as serious, she won’t
believe it when you tell her how silly and fun you are in the relaxed moments, like after
lovemaking, which she could see if she gave you the chance, but maybe she won’t
because you’re too serious.
You know her well enough now to know she might not know you know all this or
might not see how well-balanced all of this really is, even if you do come across serious
sometimes. In your better poems that is. Or at your grandmother’s house. Who died
several years ago. An empty spot in your life not half as important as this woman could
be if she wanted you. And maybe she does, but it’s hard to say when you don’t know all
the things some people tell you you should know about someone before you say things
like this.
Perhaps you might begin to wonder where this problem originated. It’s not part of
your uniqueness. It comes from being over there when it moves over here because it
doesn’t hold still. It comes from feeling and she doesn’t need the ordinary attachments.
She doesn’t need the weight. Not now.
You look at your new parakeet with gratitude, perfecting the arrangement of its
newspapers and what’s happened. This time it’s got a few names and you hang them on
the wall.
Now they’re asking if you like what you’re doing and you don’t know what they
mean because you don’t know what you’re doing.
Now the parakeet’s talking back and it’s not her voice anymore and there’s
something in the air that makes you sneeze. You can’t help noticing it’s been there
And now the parakeet’s listening.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.